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People with diabetes can benefit from group

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If you have diabetes and often wish you could talk with someone about your diabetes and your health, the “It’s About You!” diabetes support group usually meets the second Thursday of the month from 10 a.m. until noon at the Carroll County Extension Service, 500 Floyd Drive. The meeting includes discussion of participants concerns, time for answering questions and a short program and a healthy food sample. 

This month, due to a conflict, the group meets Thursday, April 17. Our topic is “Know Your A1C.”  Ruth Kingkade, RN, a certified diabetes educator with Three Rivers District Health Department, will explain A1C and its role in preventing diabetes complications. Anyone with diabetes or interested in diabetes is invited to attend. 

Gluten free, is it for me?

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. It is estimated that 1 in 133 people show symptoms of gluten sensitivity.

Those who have celiac disease cannot tolerate even the smallest amounts of gluten. In contrast to celiac, non-celiac gluten intolerance is neither an autoimmune disorder nor an allergy. Non-celiac gluten intolerance or sensitivity is thought to be an immune system response. In the past, these gluten sensitivities have been underdiagnosed, but with increased information and awareness, the diagnosis has become more prevalent. The symptoms of indigestion, bloating, diarrhea and fatigue can be similar in both conditions, but they are more severe in celiac disease, which has long-term health consequences.

Many people currently believe that gluten is a bad thing. They mistakenly believe that following a gluten-free diet is a good way to lose weight. A gluten-free diet is specifically meant for people who cannot digest gluten. For those without gluten sensitivity a gluten-free diet can have serious side effects.

In an effort to mimic the taste and flavor of their gluten containing foods, gluten-free foods frequently contain more fat and refined carbohydrate and thus are higher in calories. In addition, a gluten-free diet is often low in carbohydrates, fiber, iron, folate, niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus and zinc. Contrary to the belief that gluten-free diets promote weight loss, most celiac patients find they gain weight in response to the increased fat and sugar in many gluten-free products.

The gluten-free diet is specifically for those with a gluten intolerance or sensitivity. For the larger population, gluten is a harmless protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Those suspicious of a gluten-sensitivity should seek the guidance of both a doctor and a registered dietitian. Changing to a gluten-free lifestyle can be challenging and costly. Consumers seeking to eat a highly nutritious diet to maintain or lose weight should eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. We can spend our food dollars more wisely by choosing fewer processed foods and preparing simple meals at home.

Reference: Dr. Sandra Bastin, Dr. Janet Mullins, UK Extension Specialists in Food and Nutrition, The Gluten-Free Choice, http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/FCS3/FCS3564/FCS3564.pdf

Dates of interest

April 10:Embroidery group, 4-6 p.m., Extension office.

April 22:Cooking the Basics learn to cook program, 11 a.m.-noon, Extension office.

 

Grace Angotti is Carroll Co. Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. Call her at (502) 732-7030 or send e-mail to gangotti@uky.edu.